David Phelps, Founder, Chairman and CEO

David Phelps is a founder of Merlin International and currently serves as the Chairman and CEO.  David is responsible for defining the company’s strategy and direction, setting the corporate culture and leading the senior executive team in support of future growth. Prior to founding Merlin, David developed a deep understanding of the federal marketplace during his 25-year career that included service in the U.S. Navy and industry positions with Ford Aerospace, Martin Marietta, Loral Aerospace, and The Aerospace Corporation. 

By combining his extensive background in satellite command and control, ground systems design and development, and high performance computing, with an extremely successful business model, he has turned Merlin into one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the country.

Jones Tallent, Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Jones Tallent is responsible for leading Merlin International’s accounting and finance operations and maintaining scalable policies and procedures that support business growth. Jones brings an extensive finance background including experience leading the accounting and reporting functions for companies with revenues exceeding $1 billion. 

Prior to Merlin, Jones was Vice President of Technical Accounting and Compliance at Sotera Defense as well as the Corporate Controller for Altegrity, where he was involved in building a flexible infrastructure to accommodate fast-paced organic growth and acquisitions. Jones is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and holds both a Master’s degree in Accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from State University. 

Mark Zalubas, Chief Technology Officer


Mark Zalubas is Chief Technology Officer for Merlin International. In this role, Mark is responsible for Merlin’s strategy and vision to continually provide government customers with optimal, secure, integrated and sustainable solutions that enable them to deliver on their missions.

Mark’s core competencies include cybersecurity, enterprise applications, data center infrastructure and cloud solutions. Mark has more than 28 years of technical and management experience guiding innovation and strategy for software companies and systems integrators. He has held leadership positions with Convergys, Oracle, and Lockheed Martin. Mark holds a Master’s of Science in Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor’s of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Craig Janus, Executive Vice President of Professional Services

Craig Janus is Executive Vice President of Professional Services for Merlin International. In this role, Craig has general management responsibility for Merlin’s sales and growth, solutions development and services delivery. 

Craig has more than 30 years of general management and P/L experience, managing and driving a positive customer experience for commercial organizations and government agencies. Craig also spent more than 15 years teaching business and technology management as an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University.  He is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has held senior leadership positions with companies such as SAIC, Vangent, noblis, and Unisys. Craig holds a Master’s of Science in Information and Telecommunications from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Washington Adventist University.

Julie Xiang, Vice President of Sales


Julie Xiang is Vice President of Sales for Merlin International where she is responsible for leading the company’s sales and marketing team and growing revenue in both the commercial and public sector markets with a strong focus in healthcare.

Julie has over 16 years of information technology sales and sales management with her last seven years at IBM where she received significant achievement recognition. She has also held leadership positions at Oracle and Datatel Inc. Julie holds a Bachelor’s of Art degree in English from the Shanghai International Studies University, a Master’s of Education from Boston University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer and Information Science from the University of Maryland University College. 

John Kavas, General Counsel


For over twelve years, John Kavas has served as Merlin’s General Counsel where he is responsible for providing legal counsel to the CEO and other senior management as well as risk management, regulatory compliance and corporate governance. John guides Merlin’s day-to-day business efforts while supporting the company’s long term goals. Prior to his position as General Counsel, John represented Merlin and other clients in a wide array of commercial business transactions and real estate development projects. 

By combining his commercial background with his expertise in federal information technology acquisitions, John is instrumental in sustaining Merlin’s growth and position as one of the nation’s most trusted information technology solutions providers.  John is a graduate of Colorado State University and the University Of Denver College Of Law.